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Bug#175890: dpkg: purpose of available?

Package: dpkg
Version: 3:1.10.5
Severity: wishlist

I never use dselect anymore, and I don't plan using it again.  I do all my
updates with apt, or, in rare cases, with dpkg --install.  I also use
apt-cache for rumagging around for packages, not dpkg --list.  Why must I
have the 8M /var/lib/dpkg/available file and its evil twin available-old?
Can they be made optional somehow, please?

(The status-old file is also fairly useless, but fortunately "only" 1M large).

-- System Information
Debian Release: woody
Kernel Version: Linux kronstadt 2.4.20 #1 Sun Dec 29 17:36:03 PST 2002 i586 unknown

Versions of the packages dpkg depends on:
ii  dselect        1.10           a user tool to manage Debian packages
ii  libc6          2.2.5-14.3     GNU C Library: Shared libraries and Timezone

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